covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, December 12, 2018


By The Irrawaddy Thursday, January 1, 1998

(Page 23 of 27)

15, Karen relief sources said.

“There are eyewitness reports of human rights abuses, including beatings, kickings, molesting of people by troops, some of whom were Thais,” said a source on the Thai-Burmese border.

Relief sources said three Karen males were beaten as they resisted the movement back across the border. Assistants were described as wearing dark uniforms, red scarves, and masks.

But a Thai source in Bangkok strongly questioned reports about the incident at Ban Nupho, in Umphang district of Tak province, pointing out that they were collated from people on the Burmese side of the border who were living far away from the scene.

Suu Kyi blocks democracy

The military called Suu Kyi “confrontational” and “uncompromising,” saying she was blocking the path to democracy and supporting terrorist activities in the country.

The government statement said that “unfortunately, her actions and motives are not only unsupportive in the building of democratic institutions but a serious setback for Myanmar in becoming a functional democracy in a reasonable amount of time.”

Generals remain in new leadership

On November 15, Burmese media announced, “For the emergence and practice of disciplined democracy and for the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous modern state and in the interest of the state and the people, the State Peace and Development Council [SPDC] has been formed with immediate effect.”

The dissolution of the State Law and Order Restoration Council reinforced the power base of the top generals.

Junta chairman Than Shwe, army chief Maung Aye, military intelligence chief Khin Nyunt, and army chief of staff Tin Oo, retained their positions.

Of its 19 members, 15 are high-ranking army, navy, air force, or regional commanders. The government also formed a new 40-member cabinet.

Khin Nyunt, who retained his position as Secretary-One, announced that the government had set up two new ministries — electric power and military affairs.

Several senior Slorc members were shifted to a newly created advisory board, presumably to inactive posts.

Ex-minister under house arrest over corruption

The SPDC placed former Trade and Commerce Minister Tun Kyi and two other former ministers under house arrest over a corruption case, sources said.

Two of Tun Kyi’s daughters were arrested, but the former minister has so far only been restricted to his residential compound in a government-owned neighbourhood in Rangoon where most ministers are provided housing, they said.

Senior aides in the ministry — and those of former hotels and tourism minister Kyaw Ba and former agriculture minister Myint Aung were also arrested in connection with the investigations, they said. The three lieutenant-generals were among Slorc veterans transferred to the 14-member advisory council.

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